BAE Systems Still Yields 5.2%

LONDON -- The shares of BAE Systems  (LSE: BA  ) (NASDAQOTH: BAESY  ) advanced 3 pence to 378 pence this morning as investors studied the defense group's latest update and its 5.2% yield.

BAE said today that trading since the start of the year had been "consistent with management expectations" and confirmed underlying earnings per share were expected to grow "modestly" during 2013.

The FTSE 100 member added that underlying earnings per share could be increased by a further 3 pence should discussions concerning the Salam Typhoon program conclude satisfactorily.

The Salam Typhoon program concerns an order of 72 Eurofighter Typhoons for the Royal Saudi Air Force, the requirements of which were changed during 2011 and have since prompted protracted price negotiations.

BAE admitted today's forecast did not reflect the potential impact on the U.S. defense sector arising from any automatic cuts to the country's government spending.

However, the company did say it was awarded a £504 million contract from the U.S. Army during March to manage an ammunition plant for five years.

Based on BAE's 2012 results, the company is currently valued at less than 10 times earnings and offers a 5.2% yield.

Of course, whether those ratings, today's update and the general outlook for the defense industry all combine to make BAE a buy right now is something only you can decide.

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